Sunday, 28 July 2013

Buckwheat Soda Bread

Buckwheat Soda Bread

Buckwheat Soda Bread 

Buckwheat flour (not related to wheat and gluten free) has been a godsend for me as I love bread and since stopping gluten have got heartily sick of oatcakes every lunchtime.  I have tried making bread with nut flour and it has not gone down well.

This is fantastic with goats cheese or hummus or with jam.  Buckwheat does have a distinctive aftertaste and has an unusual tinge  (my daughter wont try it because of the colour) so maybe best not to bulk buy the flour until you have tried it! However I think it would go down really well at a dinner party as it looks like a posh artisan bread and has a nice consistency.

Click here for the recipe from the Dove's Farm website

We use water instead of milk as we were advised this would make it lighter.  This also makes it dairy free.

To be truly gluten free it is best to check your baking powder is gluten free.  As we are trying to move closer to the SCD Diet which prohibits commercial baking powder we make our own from cream of tartar and bicarbonate of soda.  You use 2 parts cream of tartar to one part bicarbonate of soda.

Buckwheat flour by Dove's Farm and widely available.  However Dove's Farm say this flour, although itself gluten free, cannot be guaranteed gluten free as it may be grown next to wheat.  If you are concerned about this you can buy guaranteed gluten free buckwheat flour online (including at

Cinnamon and raisin cake

I love this recipe because you can make a loaf cake and a load of muffin size cakes at the same time (great for packed lunches or parties).    It is SCD friendly (grain free, gluten free, sugar free) and can also be made dairy free by using coconut oil instead of butter.

448g almond flour
3 eggs
57g softened / melted butter (we use goats butter, can also use coconut oil)
200g runny honey
340g plain yoghurt ( homemade if you are proper SCD / GAPs)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp cinnamon
90g raisins

1. Preheat oven at Gas Mark 4 / 180 C
2. Whisk eggs
3. Soften or melt butter
4. Pulse all the ingredients in food processor till mixed.  Add raisins and mix again.
5. Pour batter into a greased tin / tin lined with greaseproof paper
6. Cook for 45 minutes if you are making a large cake, if you are making muffin / fairy cake size check with skewer after 30 minutes.  (I normally bake a large cake on the first shelf  and muffins below, turning them half way through,  but you may need to adjust according to how your oven bakes best)
7. Leave to cool on rack

I find that you do get a darker top with almond flour than if you are using regular flour but the cakes inside are still moist.  If you like your cakes really moist you could add another 50g of honey.   I like loads of raisins but you could make this cakes with half the amount suggested if preferred.

These freeze really well.  They can be taken out in morning and put in lunch box and will be defrosted by lunch time.  (However I have only frozen ones with butter not coconut oil)

Banana Cake / muffins

This is a fab weekday cake - can be eaten at breakfast, used in lunch boxes or served to adults with tea. It can also be used to make individual muffins

300g almond flour
150g honey
2 overripe bananas
3 eggs
1tbsp of cinnamon (optional)
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to Gas Mark  4 / 180 C / 350F
2. Blend up bananas in a processor
3. Add the eggs and blend again
4. Put all the other ingredients in a processor and pulse till mixed
5. Line a 11b loaf tin with greaseproof paper
6. Pour batter into tins
7.  Bake for 40 minutes. Put skewer into middle of cake and if it comes out dry it is ready.  If not give cakes another 5 minutes.

Add raisins or dates  (45-85g depending on personal preference.   
Make smaller muffins by splitting the mixture into a muffin pan double lined with cake cases.  Check after 20 minutes 

Saturday, 27 July 2013


There are lots of references in this blog to the SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) and the GAPS diet. These are diets that go further than gluten free and take out many foods, including all grains and most carbohydrates (including potato and corn) in order to heal the gut.  To get more info on these diets go to the research page.  They require a lot of consideration and we would advise anyone interested in putting their children on these diets to work with a nutritionist.

'Free From' family cooking ...what we are trying to do

We have put our daughter on a gluten free diet casein free (dairy free) diet for health reasons.    We decided if she had to give up stuff, then the rest of the family would do it too

When we started looking into this diet we discovered there were two ways to go, we could either buy ready made products that were often expensive, tasteless and full of other nasties or we could learn how to cook differently as a family.  Cooking ourselves also meant we could reduce if not remove sugar and artificial preservatives and other rubbish from our daughter's diet.

We are still eating carbs. We are drawn to the paleo ethos of avoiding grains, eating lots of unprocessed meat, nuts, fruit, vegetables etc.  Lots of recipes here will be paleo.  However we do still eat certain grains and lots of ingredients that a pure paleo would not tolerate so some recipes wont work for paleos.

We like to use natural fats believing hard fats to be the most stable for cooking - butter / ghee / coconut oil.  We also use olive oil, ideally for cold dishes and salad dressings.  We don't use sunflower and vegetable oils at home as they get an increasingly bad press but its personal preference and most recipes are flexible in that respect. 

The recipes here are indexed according to whether they contain dairy (our children can tolerate goats products but we mark alternatives where possible).  We also look at whether they contain yeast and sugar.  Lots of recipes are suitable for people following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet or GAPS Protocol.

Whilst the recipes may help various health conditions the important thing for us is that they also taste great and our children will eat them! 

Like all parents our time is precious and we ideally look for recipes that can be made quickly, or are simple enough to be made at the same time as building a lego aeroplane, or can be made in bulk and frozen. 

We eat organic when we find it and can afford it.  We try to get ingredients locally and plan to list good suppliers in the North West.    However all ingrediants should be available at most supermarkets. 

It is easy to get evangical about food (as a lot of websites do!) but we dont want this blog to make people to feel bad about what they are eating - we still buy the ready made products now and again, especially if we have to be away from home.   We have to be 'free from' gluten and cows dairy all the time.  For everything else we go for the 80/20 rule.  If 80% of our diet is 'free from' artificial colours, preservatives, other nasties and sugar then the odd treat is fine. 

Hope you find some recipes you like and please tell us of any recipes or suppliers you think we should add to the site!